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The Early Word on Wally Chin's Midtown Newbie Walle

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The long awaited Walle finally opened on 53rd Street at the end of March. Restaurateur Wally Chin, who also owns Chin Chin, and Chef Chris Cheung have created an American restaurant "with Chinese flair." With offerings including a burger nestled between two Shanghai pancakes, lobster dumplings, short ribs and mac and cheese the menu has a nice balance American and Chinese. Let's check out the early word on this new Midtown East spot:

The Good Food, Embarrassing Wait Staff News: An Eater tipster writes in about their recent experience to Walle. She writes: "I must say, the food was very good. I had the Crispy baby Chicken with Bok Choy, my friend had the Trio of Creekstone Farms Beef. We also shared an order of the shanghai fried rice with pork belly. I will say however that the wait staff was HORRIBLE?. One person spilled wine all over my menu, the other recommended the pu-pu platter 3 times, each time we said we weren’t interested?..I started getting a little short with him, because he wasn’t listening to me about the word NO at all, a little frustrating. I am sure the staff will be weeded out, overall we thought the room was lovely, and the food pretty good." Seems like after the bad memory of the wait staff was fleshed out the food went from "very" to "pretty" good. [ENY]

The Eh News: Yelper Tracy K. has a mediocre experience at Walle. Here are her thoughts on one of the dishes: "Treasures rice with poached egg, roast duck, roast pork, and Chinese sausage: definitely the most visually appealing dish. Slices of meat were nicely layered over rice with cilantro sauce. However, several slices of meat were quite dry. The rice was also clumped together in areas, again implying it had been sitting awhile (also confirmed by its lukewarm temperature upon first bite). It made me miss the many BBQ meat-over-rice dishes I've had in California, which were obtained at 1/3 the price." A nice way to politely bash the dish. She goes on to say: "In short, I wouldn't rule this place out, because maybe we just didn't pick the best dishes. Just don't measure it against a traditional Chinese food quality scale." [Yelp]

The Great News: Adam H. Smith of NH Media Spot pens a glowing review of Walle. The only negative thing here is the food took a while to get out of the kitchen. He writes: "Now, I don’t believe anyone or anything can be perfect, so Walle is obviously no exception. The evening was great, but with a waiting time of 25 minutes between each plate, and over 40 minutes before we received the first one, I’m surprised I didn’t leave." But he did turn his back on Lent to enjoy some ribs, which were awesome: "For the final two plates we were served southern barbecue ribs and seasoned, home style macaroni & cheese. See, I have a slight addiction to macaroni and I don’t normally eat pork (NOT to mention it’s Lent and as a Catholic we don’t eat meat on Fridays) but I decided to chance this and see if I was missing something with the ribs. I was. Feeling guilty through every bite, I devoured the plate I had and could have eaten the macaroni for the rest of the night if it were available." He concludes by donning Walle with 4 stars: "On a 5 point scale, Walle Restaurant & Lounge receives 4 stars. Guess this gives me a reason to cross past Lexington Avenue now; I will definitely be back." Bravo! [NH Media Spot]

The Twitterific News: @WalleRestaurant has been pretty active on Twitter since they opened, responding to people and re-tweeting up a storm. One of these RTs included @KayMini, who writes: "Agree! Food was amazing RT @BizzyLea: @tineey thanks for having me and @kaymini at @WalleRestaurant. The lychee martini was perfect." Sounds like they had a grand ol' time. [Twitter]

The Friends and Family, Maybe Biased News: John Simon of John Simon Daily writes about his experience at Walle at the private tasting before the opening. He says: "The entrees were absolutely delicious and affordable (ranging from $14-29). My favorites of the evening was the Walle Burger!" He continues about more favorite dishes: "Another favorite was the Sweet Chili Baby Back Ribs and Macaroni and Bleu Cheese. Messy but quite tasty so I didn’t mind. As the weather warms up, the restaurant will feature a 20-seat outdoor dining area for those who wish to opt for an al fresco dining experience. So hurry over to Walle Restaurant & Lounge and tell him John Simon Daily sent you." [John Simon Daily]

Walle Restaurant & Lounge

249 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022 (212) 371-0888 Visit Website


249 East 53rd St., New York, NY